GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville City Council met on Monday to discuss several items including a proposed operations budget for the 2017 -2018 fiscal year.
Michael Cowin is the assistant city manager and said, “I like to think of this as building a better Greenville for our citizens.”
When describing what is in the proposal Cowin said, “It includes approximately two to four new police positions, included for public safety. It includes a 300,000 dollar increase in funding for street improvements going from approximately from 1.7 million dollars a year to over two million dollars a year.”
The operating budget, which totals more than 129 million dollars, only represents a portion of the city’s overall costs.
One of the highlights in the budget includes pay increases.
“It includes a 3.2 percent increase in salary wages for our employees for next year,” said Cowin.
The change would increase pay nearly 450,000 dollars city wide.
The 3.2 percent increase is made up of two portions; cost of living and merit based increases.
So, where does the money come from?
Cowin said, “Property taxes as well as sales taxes appropriations. Now property taxes are based on the property tax rate which is currently 52 cents. That is not increasing.”
Instead Cowin said an increase in dollars spent in the community means more opportunity for Greenville.
“We are seeing growth in our sales tax base which means more dollars back into the city,” said Cowen. “This comes from sales through the community retail sales, food sales, dollars that generate revenues back to the city that allow us to fund many of the services we look to provide.”